Local Coastal Plan outreach begins this month

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The city’s consultant will begin meeting with stakeholders this month to discuss the city’s application for a Local Coastal Plan, according to Chris Johnson of Michael Baker International. Johnson said a Local Coastal Plan is similar to a city’s General Plan.

As the Sun reported in November, a Local Coastal Plan is important to anyone with property in the “Coastal Zone” as defined by the California Coastal Commission, because a city with an approved LCP can streamline the application process for property development.

Johnson said the Coastal Commission had provided the city with a grant to address the sea rise component of the Local Coastal Plan.

Johnson said what they were aiming to do was bring control to the city.

Johnson said the first meeting would be with the Seal Beach Lions Club. That meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, April 10, after the Sun’s editorial deadline.

Meetings with District One and Three council representatives will be arranged at a future date.

Johnson said meetings would inform stake holders about the LCP preparation process.

Sample questions from his slideshow to the City Council included:

“Does your organization have property, facilities, or assets within the Coastal Zone?”

“Has your organization implemented or does your organization plan to implement any adaptation strategies for sea level rise?

“Has your organization experienced any coastal hazards/impacts within the City (such as flooding, king tides, erosion, storm events)?”

“Are there opportunities for your organization to improve public access within the coastal zone?”

According to Johnson, there will be three workshops, in April, July and August. Specific dates were not provided at the council meeting. The first Workshop will be on “Vision, Issues and Opportunities.” The second will address sea level rise and the third will address key issues of a Local Coastal Plan.

“I think I’ll just wait and see how your meetings go,” said District Five Councilwoman Sandra Massa-Lavitt.

Mayor Thomas Moore asked if the consultant would be making a presentation to the Coastal Commission.

“The Coastal Commission is involved through the entire process,” Johnson said. He said Michael Baker International would be working with Steven Fowler, who is presently heading the Community Development Department following the recent departure of Interim Director Crystal Landavazo.

District One Councilman Joe Kalmick wanted to know if the consultant would get some idea of what would remain in purview of the coastal Commission.

Johnson said there are three areas where the Coastal Commission would retain its permitting authority: submerged lands, tidelands and public trust lands.

According to a 2016 staff report to the council, the city Seal Beach submitted Local Coastal Plans to the California Coastal Commission in 1983 and 2003.

“In 2008, the City developed another draft aimed at incorporating the CCC’s comments. The 2008 draft was never adopted and the City continues to rely on the CCC for review of Coastal Development Permits.”

In 2010, the Sun reported that city staff, including the previous city manager, met with Coastal Commission staff to discuss expediting approval of the city’s Local Coastal Plan.

In 2013, Seal Beach issued a request for proposals to develop an LCP.

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